Nimitz Way Trail – Tilden Park–Wildflowers, Crazy Wind, State of Mind While Hiking.

For the first time in years, I got sick for more than a couple days, with a horrible chest cold. Usually I can do some hiking with a cold, but not this chest cold.  After over a week of being in bed I decided that I had to get out, and drove to a new trail, one of the ones for the East Bay Parks Trails Challenge 2015.  I was making myself go out, my state of mind was all wrong.  And I was exhausted, a half mile in and I was also hot and irritated, and my energy was transferring to my dog Chico and he was getting excitable. I should not have gone to a new trail feeling like I did.  It made me worry about the location, my car, the lack of people, made my mind race.  So I turned around and came home.

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California Poppies? Right in front of our car at Inspiration Point.

A few days later when Friday rolled around, I had major cabin fever. I decided that even though I was still tired and i still had a cough I’d make another go of it.  This time I went to The Nimitz Trail in Tilden and Wildcat Canyon, an easy trail that I know well.  In my mind I was happy with the beautiful drive to inspiration point staging area, and would be happy if I could only go a 1/2 mile to the first spectacular vista and sit there for a bit.  I ended up doing 7 miles with Chico that day, and prob could have done more if I wasn’t going to rain.  It is amazing what a difference the right presence of mind can be while out on the trail, and how it affects our bodies as well.

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Bonus! I also got my layering completely right from the start!  The Nimitz Trail is a ridge line trail can be quite windy in many spots. It was going to be about 50 to 60 degrees, so I just wore a lightweight base layer, and my mid weight jacket, which is usually good for the average wind I experience…but 10 steps out of my car the wind was so fierce that I threw on my windbreaker as well, knowing that it would be even worse on the trail.  A mile in and the wind sounded like an ominous roaring turbine engine!  I never heard that before!  It sounded like winter to me, if that makes sense:)

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Of course there were people running by me in shorts, but I wasn’t walking fast enough to generate that kind of heat…and when I got to the Wildcat Canyon portion of the Nimitz the wind was even crazier–people were turning around after just a few feet into that section.  I was never cold, and was really comfortable, for a second on my way back, I thought maybe it wasn’t even chilly out…but then I had some of my water and it was Ice cold.

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It was fun watching Chico react to the wind, at the first strong roaring gust he stopped, and looked at me and sat down, I started to laugh, and he got up and started moving again. I wish I got a photo of his face…but I did get these photos with Mule Ear Sunflowers–I think–I’ve been reading Wildflowers of California: A Month-by-Month Guide–but at this point in my education it seems like so many flowers might be so many different things!  I sat here the other night and thought I identified them all, but now as of this posting I am not sure.  Most study more:)

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There are grazing gates on Nimitz Way, and you can see cows in Wildcat Canyon grazing where the Missile site used to be, as well as behind some wire fences in Tilden.

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Nimitz Way Trail is Leash Only. Mount Diablo in the Distance.

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Cows off in the distance.

There are several loop options or short in and outs that you can take off of the Nimitz Trail. But some of them go into Tilden’s Nature Area which doesn’t allow Dogs.  I think next time I’m going to explore Conlon Trail or explore Wildcat Peak.

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And just one more photo 🙂  I previously wrote about Nimitz Way Trail with some better details, if you want to check that out 🙂

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Yarow

4 thoughts on “Nimitz Way Trail – Tilden Park–Wildflowers, Crazy Wind, State of Mind While Hiking.

  1. | | | |

    | | | Happy you’re feeling better 🙂 How did the apartment hunt go? |

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    | | | Stationery, an att.net Mail and Paperless Post collaboration |

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  2. Hi! I was trying to find an option to email you but unfortunately couldn’t. I just adopted a Boston and I really want to be outdoors and active with him, but I feel like so many resources online say ” NO!!! INDOOR DOG! OVERHEATING!!! DEATH!” Your site is reassuring to me – especially as I’ll be moving back to the Bay Area in a couple of weeks (some of your posts are about my favorite running trails and I can’t wait to get back!) Anyway, what I’m really wondering is how long I can realistically have my dog outside in the summer/sun without him croaking? We are headed to Russian River for a kayaking trip at the end of August and the actual kayaking portion is about 5 hours on one of the days – do you think it is too long for me to take him along? He’d be riding in the boat, could easily be cooled off in the river, etc. but there isn’t much shade (I wonder if I could rig something up?) Thanks for being an amazing resource about hiking with a Boston – you’ve given me hope that Bagel and I can have some fun adventures! He loves to be outdoors, swim, camp, etc. (I had him at a friend’s lake house last weekend in the White Mountains of NH and he loved it) but I have been so worried about the overheating issue. Thank you for any suggestions/input you have for me!

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    • Hi!
      Thanx for the reading our little blog!
      I do worry about the heat with Chico, but mostly when we have been playing fetch for 30 mins and he is panting like crazy and doesn’t want to give up, my dog never pants like this when hiking. I think what most sites mean by “Indoor dog” is that Boston Terriers are not the kind of dog that people can just leave out in their backyards while they go to work. Almost everyone I know with a Boston, takes them hiking. You will need to condition Bagel first, start by walking/hiking a mile and move up. Chico weighs 25 pounds so he is a hearty Boston and can do 10 miles without issue, tho we mostly only do 5ish. If Bagel is a mini Boston, you might only be able to hike 2 or 3 miles, but it will still be a great adventure:) You will just have to watch and judge how Bagel is doing. A mini Boston can also be carried in a special pack tho.

      In the Bay Area these are the precautions that I take :

      During the Summer I try to really hydrate him before we get out on the trail, I feed him wet dog food the day before, give him ice cubes to play with and put them in his water so he will drink more, and sometimes add a little broth or fish oil to his water. Frozen Yogurt/pumpkin/peanutbutter treats as well. I also do this for longer hikes in the winter.

      I carry water for him on the trail. On cooler days he has his own pack and carries his own. I try to also really hydrate myself, and carry a bit of extra water to throw on him, but I have never had to cool him down yet.

      I keep him on leash when it’s hot, as a dog who is off leash does 2 to 3 times the miles and running can over heat them faster, or if it is less hot out but amd we are on a trail that is all direct sun.

      I keep him on leash for longer hikes as well. This is something that even hikers with big dogs do, dogs will use so many more resources if you let them orbit.

      If the temperature is 80 or above, I only hit the Shady trails. It doesn’t get crazy hot here too much, but when it does, even on shady trails, I will just do shorter hikes, because I don’t like the heat either. On hot days I stop and rest every mile or so whether we need it or not and then,

      I watch Chico for signs that he is feeling too hot–Overly pink snout, or he will see shade and try to walk faster towards it. He is also very good on the trail at laying down if he needs to cool off and rest, so far he has only done this 2 times–Once was in the Desert and it was 90+ degrees, and once was on a longer hike here where I had played with him and got him super excited.

      I have thought about getting a cooling shirt, the main problem that hikers have with them, is that they need to be wet to work, and that is a lot of extra weight to have to carry water for the shirt too, but, perhaps this could work for your Kayak trip? You also will have all that water to cool him off if he gets too hot. I am not familiar enough with Kayaking to suggest anything else, but it is something that I plan on teaching Chico at some point:)

      Good Luck! I’m no authority and often still learning myself:)

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